Apr 09, 2014

Columbia State Nurses Visit Capitol Hill

Photo Caption: Seven faculty members and 112 first and fourth semester nursing students from Columbia State Community College's Columbia and Williamson County campuses were in attendance for the 2014 Tennessee Nurses Association Legislative Summit on Capitol Hill.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - April 4, 2014) - - - More than 100 student nurses from Columbia State Community College visited Nashville last Wednesday morning for the 2014 Tennessee Nurses Association Legislative Summit on Capitol Hill.

"It is always very exciting when school groups share their health care concerns during a roll call," said Judy Smith, associate professor of nursing. "Students are also encouraged to share concerns with legislators while on the hill if they have previously established appointments or visit during legislative sessions."

The legislative summit is sponsored by the TNA and was formally known as "Student Nurses' Day on Capitol Hill." Student groups from nursing schools throughout Tennessee participated in this one-day grassroots event that offered the opportunity to learn more about health care policy development and the legislative process.

Distinguished speakers included Karen Daley, president of the American Nurses Association, and House Speaker Beth Harwell. The panel included Sen. Becky Massey of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and Reps. Gloria Johnson and Bob Ramsey from the House Health Committee. Past speakers have included governors and commissioners of the Tennessee Department of Health.

The agenda included a keynote speech by Daley on advocacy and creating change beyond the bedside, a session on understanding the legislative process and bill review, and legislative panel, along with an overall status of health care in Tennessee.

"All students in the first and fourth semester classes were given the opportunity to review the Senate and House bills that the TNA was monitoring and share their own opinions related to the bills," said Julie Markus, fourth semester nursing student. "The Columbia State student nurse consensus supported SB2236/HB2062, a bill related to physicians notifying patients before referring out-of-network."

Markus, who gave Columbia State's roll call during the summit, said that the requirement to notify patients of out-of-network referrals is an act of patient advocacy and that the student nurses believe this service will fuel a trusting relationship between patients and health care providers, as well as facilitate efficient patient care.

The Columbia State nursing program is committed to excellence in nursing education. The program has full approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Students admitted to the nursing program at Columbia State demonstrate excellent completion rates, first-attempt board exam success, and in-field employment rates.

For more information about applying to the program, contact Barbara Blum at (931) 540-2609 or bblum@ColumbiaState.edu, or visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/Nursing.

Photo Caption: Julie Markus, Lawrenceburg resident and fourth semester nursing student, plans to graduate from Columbia State Community College in May.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.

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